Posts Tagged ‘swansea cork ferry’

Fastnet Line Celebrates First Anniversary Sailing

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 by Paul
MV Julia passing Cobh

MV Julia passing Cobh


Fastnet Line with it’s Cork to Swansea ferry route celebrates the first anniversary of operations on Thursday 10th March. The first sailing on the route since 2006 took place on this date in 2010 when the Julia set sail from Swansea to Cork.

 The re-establishment of the route was a boost to tourism on both sides of the Irish Sea last year and saw Fastnet Line exceed its targets for vehicles and passengers in a highly successful first season. More than 80,000 people travelled on the route between March and December 2010 in a year which saw the importance of access by sea emphasised during the now infamous “ash cloud crisis”.

Fastnet Line has also established a cost effective route for freight in and out of the south of Ireland and the UK and with Swansea directly connecting to the motorway network in the UK the miles saved for hauliers is becoming an increasingly important factor in these times of rising fuel prices.

Commenting on the prospects for 2011, Phil Jones CEO of Fastnet Line said, “We were delighted with our first year of operations and learned a lot but that is in the past now and we look forward to the challenges ahead. We are determined to build on the solid foundations we have created and with tight cost control and an aggressive strategy for marketing in the UK supported once again by our partners in Tourism Ireland we intend to do everything we can to increase numbers this year.”

A new range of value products including short breaks will go on sale from Monday 14th March and Fastnet Line also will continue its policy of targeting major sporting events on both sides of the water including Heineken Cup, Six Nations rugby, Cheltenham Racing Festival, the West Cork Rally and the Racing Home for Easter festival at Cork Racecourse.

Conor Buckley Chairman of West Cork Tourism Co-Op, the owners of Fastnet Line, said, “2011 promises to be a challenging year again for everyone in the tourist industry but the members of the Co-Op are determined to promote themselves strongly in our key market in the UK. We will also encourage everyone to use the route from Cork to Swansea in both directions as much as possible in order to ensure the viability of the business for the long term benefit of the whole community.”

Win a free trip to Wales v Ireland including match tickets

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 by Paul


Ireland rugby photo

Ireland rugby photo

To celebrate our first anniversary and combining it with our love of rugby, we at Fastnet Line are giving you and a friend the chance to win a free trip to the Wales v Ireland Six Nations clash which takes place in Cardiff on Saturday 12th March at 5 p.m.

In order to be in with a chance to win please email your answer to the following question to

Q. In their last meeting at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in 2009 who scored the winning drop goal for Ireland?

Was it:

(a) Johnny Sexton

(b) Paddy Wallace

(c) Ronan O’Gara

Terms and conditions apply. Click here to read more.

*Competition Winner*

Congratulations to Kate Leavy, winner of the return trip and match tickets to see Wales v Ireland Six Nations clash! Enjoy your sailing and the game Kate!

If you don’t win you can still travel with us to Cardiff at some really great prices.

Prices start from €60 per person without reserved accommodation, €78 per person with a reserved pullman seat and starting from €98 per person sharing return including a two berth inside cabin. All of these prices for foot passengers with bus transfers extra. We also have great deals if you want to bring your car.

Sailing on Friday night 11th March at 20.30 and arriving at 08.00 in Swansea on the morning of the game, Fastnet Line will provide bus transport for those travelling as foot passengers to Cardiff from 09.30. Supporters will then have plenty of time to soak up the pre-match atmosphere before the game which kicks off at 5 p.m.

Buses will again take supporters back after the game in plenty of time to check in for the departure of 23.50 and the ferry will arrive back in Cork at 12.00 noon on Sunday 13th March.

Are you ready for March?

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 by Paul

A P McCoy takes a tumble

Here at Fastnet Line we like our sport, which is why March is one of our favourite times of the year. Not only do we get to go to Cardiff for our biannual meeting with our Celtic cousins on the rugby pitch in the Six Nations championship (Wales v Ireland, Millennium Stadium Cardiff, Saturday 12th March 2011 at 17.00) but we also get to look forward to the Cheltenham Racing Festival (Prestbury Park Cheltenham, 15th to 18th March 2011).

And if that isn’t enough, the West Cork Rally is being held on the weekend of the 18th to 20th March based in CLonakilty West Cork. Fastnet Line expects to bring competitiors from Wales and farther afield in the UK to one of the best tarmac rallies in Ireland.

Now not everyone in Ireland is a racing fan but in our experience most people will know a little about a horse or a jockey or perhaps a local trainer and everyone will have heard of Cheltenham. It is the Olympics and World Cup final of National Hunt racing in one extraordinary festival of racing. If you have not experienced it, we can only say GO! The atmosphere is electric at this incredible sporting occasion and is certainly one of those events that you have to be there to experience.

The easiest way to get to these two great sporting events is with Fastnet Line saiing from Cork to Swansea overnight in comfort and style. We have got special offers for both great events and are running a special sailing on Friday 11th March from Cork to Swansea to bring rugby supporters to Wales for the big match with a return sailing late on Saturday night  to bring them back to Cork after the match. So whichever form of sport takes your fancy in March book now to get the best fares.

Dry Dock Schedule 2011

Friday, January 7th, 2011 by Paul

Happy New Year to all our customers.

Julia will be in dry dock in Swansea from next week. Her schedule will be as follows.

The last sailing before annual dry dock will be on Thursday 13th January from Cork to Swansea departing at 20.30 hrs. Julia will remain in Swansea while undergoing annual maintenance up to and including Wednesday 9th February. Her first sailing will be at 20.30 hrs. from Swansea to Cork on Wednesday 9th February 20111.

Bookings can be made on up to three hours prior to departure.

Did you hear the one about?

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010 by Paul
Paul O'Brien, Mike Phillips and Tomas O'Leary

Paul O'Brien, Mike Phillips and Tomas O'Leary

The ex-prop and the two world class scrum halves? As part of the publicity for the upcoming Ospreys v Munster Heineken Cup game in Swansea on Saturday 18th December. Fastnet Line General Manager Paul O’Brien got as close as he’s ever likely to get, to two world class scrum halves – Tomas O’Leary of Munster and Ireland and Mike Phillips the Ospreys, Wales and British and Irish Lions number nine.

O’Brien whose career as a rugby player “climaxed” in the South Munster U18 cup final of 1980 something (lost 4-3 since you ask) finally came close to greatness and realised a long time ambition to actually catch a scrum half. Something he singularly failed to do during his playing career.

All three were on hand after the match last Sunday in which Munster edged out Ospreys in a close, tense affair at Thomond Park, Limerick, to publicise the Fastnet Line special rugby sailing carrying Munster rugby supporters to Swansea for the Heineken Cup Pool Three clash with Ospreys on Saturday 18th December. Hundreds of Munster supporters are expected to travel bringing a much needed boost to Swansea in the run up to Christmas.

Munster rugby supporters are famously enthusiastic travellers and they are sure to bring colour, passion and lots of singing to the occasion. Fastnet Line will also provide coach transfers to get supporters from the ferry port to and from the game. The supporters will arrive early on Saturday morning and will spend the day in Swansea up to kick off which is set for 3.30 p.m. at Liberty Stadium.

Commenting on the special sailings, Paul O’Brien General Manager of Fastnet Line said; “Following Munster’s narrow victory over the Ospreys on Sunday it’s still all to play for in what is proving to be one of the most competitive pools in the Heineken Cup competition.

“Munster will want as much support as possible at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday and Fastnet Line is playing its part to make sure the red army will travel in style and comfort direct to Swansea for the big occasion.”

From the “We must be doing something right” department

Friday, December 3rd, 2010 by Paul
julia from the air

julia from the air

Recently Fastnet Line received a “Highly Commended” award from Swansea Bay Tourism at their annual awards ceremony held recently in Brangwyn Hall Swansea. The category was called “Co-operating to Compete” and recognises the efforts that Fastnet Line has gone to in connecting with local businesses in the South Wales area in an effort to promote them to Irish customers.

In June 2010, Fastnet Line hosted over eighty tourism businesses from the Swansea area on board the Julia under the banner “Working Together”. Following that initial contact it took varios business offerings from these providers and promoted them on its website as well as making them part of its marketing message to the Irish consumer.

Fastnet Line will continue to work with Swansea Bay Tourism and other stakeholders in South Wales to continue to promote the area in the Irish market.

Also on the Irish side of the water, Cork Chamber of Commerce have just announced that Fastnet Line has been shortlisted for Cork Company of the Year. The winner will be announced at the gala dinner hosted by the Chamber on Friday 4th February 2011. We are extremely proud of all of our staff and crew who have worked so hard in 2010 and thank them for their terrific efforts which are being recognised in this way. Thank you.

Minister for Tourism Meets Fastnet Line

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 by Paul
WTM Min Hanafin photo

L-R Niall Gibbons Tourism Ireland, Mike Wood Fastnet Line, Minister Mary Hanafin and Paul O'Brien Fastnet Line

The Irish Minister for Tourism Miss Mary Hanafin visited the Fastnet Line desk at the World Travel Market in London recently. General manager’s of the UK and Ireland Mike Wood and Paul O’Brien attended over three days meeting with tourism buyers, tour operators and travel agents  at the largest international tourism meeting in the world.

The minister who attended at the invitation of Tourism Ireland was in London promoting Irish tourism with a particular emphasis on the UK which still remains Irelands biggest market. The minister who visited the Julia in August at the invitation of the Co-Op which owns Fastnet Line was delighted to hear of the numbers which have travelled this year already. The government is making a special priority to win back our UK visitors and Fastnet Line aims to be a key part of that strategy in the medium and long term.

We are extremely grateful to the minister for her time and to Tourism Ireland for their support in 2010. We have agreed plans with Tourism Ireland for a jointly funded campaign for 2011 which will help us get our message out to even more people.

Tourist Information Office Opens on board

Friday, November 19th, 2010 by Paul
Ian Dempsey, Jean O'Sullivan and Robert Walsh

Ian Dempsey, Jean O'Sullivan and Robert Walsh

Fastnet Line continues to be one of the most progressive ferry companies on the Irish sea. On Monday, its owners the West Cork tourism Co-Op will open their Tourist Information Office on board the MV Julia. The large space located on deck five is dedicated to giving passengers as much information as possible about the destinations on both sides of the Irish sea.

The shareholders who have invested €3m of their own money to purchase the ferry and establish Fastnet Line will now be able to display information about their businesses to the tourists travelling on board in what is believed to be a unique venture on any ferry to southern Ireland. Only businesses which have invested to become members of the Co-Op are allowed to display on board the ship.

Shareholders also benefit from joint marketing opportunities with Fastnet Line which should enhance their opportunities to gain additional tourist traffic. The tourist information office consists of large scale grpahic representations of Wales and Ireland as well as a central information desk and leaflet display racks. the office will be manned by trained staff in high season who will be able to give detailed information about the two destinations as well as advice regarding shareholders offerings.

West Cork Tourism Co-Op membership is still open to businesses in Ireland and Wales.


Thursday, February 18th, 2010 by Fastnet Line

Leaving Skibbereen as you continue west towards the Mizen peninsula the terrain becomes increasingly rugged and barren with Mount Gabriel and its instantly recognisable radar domes as your landmark. The quirkily named Ballydehob is a village instantly recognisable by its twelve arch railway viaduct a relic of the past but now incorporated into a unique walk at the entrance to the village. As with most villages in West Cork it hosts its own annual festival in August each year has ample accommodation and restaurants and bars for the weary and hungry traveller and an enquiry about the story behind the statue of Danno Mahony, world champion wrestler, which is on the main street will tell you all you need to know about that essential pride of place a mainstay of irish character not yet lost to modernity. Schull another fishing port further west along the road is yet another village which sustains a multitude of activities throughout the year. Sailing of course is a major part of the lifestyle here and the local sailing club has a busy schedule of races and classes year round including the entertainingly named “Calves Week” a derivation from Cowes Week one assumes. In addition there are any number of walks or for those who like to combine several forms of exercise at once you can join the local triathletes for one of the many events they run throughout the year. Recently the ambitious locals have also started a very successful short film festival sure to become a rival to the great film festivals of the world. Such is the enterprise of small villages in this part of Ireland – one might say a “Cannes do” attitude. In addition there is the successful Sunday Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. well worth a visit for good food and crafts made locally, a planetarium and enough breathtaking scenery to make you want to return every year or simply give in as many do and settle here permanently.

13 days to the first sailing of Fastnet Line

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 by Fastnet Line

Only 13 days left to the first commercial sailing of Fastnet Line the new Cork-Swansea route – hope you have booked your ticket!!